5.56 Load Data

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by blucoondawg, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

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    Do any of you guys who reload for the AR know where to find load data for the 5.56NATO round? I have some surplus powder which I'm supposed to use H335 data to load with, I have a Speer and a Sierra load manual, I just picked up the Sierra tonight cuz my buddy told me it has a section in it for ARs, but that section is pretty disappointing, it seems to have loads that are reduced under the loads for the 223 Remington which are recommended for bolt actions in that manual. I see online Ramshot has their data and they have a section for NATO rated rifles, they can push a 62gr bullet just as fast as the max loads in my books with the 55gr. Is there such a big difference in the wall thickness of the Military brass that it decreases the internal capacity of the shell enough to create an extra 8000lbs of pressure with the same size load? I didn't think there was that much difference in the case capacity.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
  2. heartlessmcfly

    heartlessmcfly New Member

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    Believe hornady has the data online under 223 service rifle

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using FirearmsTalk
     

  3. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

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    Nope, Hornady has very little data online that I can find, and none for 223 of any sort
     
  4. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    In my experimentation, there is little difference between 223 and 556 brass except maybe length. Use 223 data and work up as far as you want. To simply take a max load and go with it is a really bad idea and a recipe for disaster. ALL loads must be worked up.
     
  5. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

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    Ya I know but I was hoping to use 5.56 data rather than 223 and get a little more speed but Ramshot is the only one with that data published so far that I can see, but I don't have Ramshot powder so I guess I will have to use 223 data
     
  6. billt

    billt New Member

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    I have found no issues when loading either .223 or 5.56 MM brass for my AR-15. So much so I no longer even bother to segregate the brass anymore. Unless of course you are trying for super accurate loads in a accurized rifle. The slight difference in case capacity isn't enough to worry about unless you are going to be running right at the redline.

    What type of surplus powder are you going to be loading with? I generally load with H-335 and my load is 23.0 Grains with a 55 Grain FMJBT M-193 bullet. That's good for right around 3,100 FPS, give or take depending on barrel length. If the surplus powder you're using says to load it with H-335 data, I would start out a good 5% under that. Just load a few rounds, then check how well they run and cycle your action. If all seems well you can bump it up and go from there. It's a bit more of a PITA that way, but always better safe than sorry. Many of these surplus powders vary from lot to lot. If it is pulldown powder, it can vary even more.
     
  7. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

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    WC844 is the powder I have, and 62 gr fmj green tips. I bought it from a guy at the gun show who has a shop in Eau Claire, WI, he builds ARs and says he uses these components in all his 5.56 and 308 shooting, he says it seems to be a very consistent powder. I don't know I haven't tried any yet but figured for the price I'd give it a shot. I didn't think the case capacity was enough to make much difference but I have a buddy who read some website stating the difference between 223 and 5.56 and he keeps preaching that it is the case capacity difference which causes the increase in pressure in the NATO round. I keep telling him he's full of it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  8. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

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    Scotsman Arms is the guys business he has a website but it only has his guns and parts on it not any reloading supplies currently.
     
  9. billt

    billt New Member

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    While the 5.56 MM NATO ammo is a bit hotter, it's not because of the case capacity, but rather because it's simply loaded a little hotter, and the thicker NATO case offers a bit more strength in the base area.

    WC-844 is good powder. I've used it and found it to be accurate and clean burning. Don't worry about the brass. Just pick a H-335 load that matches the velocity you want with the bullet you'll be using. If it's .223 data, so be it. As I mentioned start out with a load a full 5% under that. Load about 5 or 10 rounds for a starting base line, and go up from there. You should be fine, and be able to step up accordingly. You can even load 5 rounds starting 5%, then kick it up to 3%, if that runs well for you go to the load you want and load away.
     
  10. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    Not to contradict but "technically" he is right. If you have two cases of exact same diameter and one is thicker than the other than there will be a capacity difference.(negligible) Honestly never heard it put that way before. As was stated above they are loaded a bit hotter and it is thicker brass.
     
  11. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Use the .223 data. The thicker walls of the military cases will increase pressures slightly and bring the rounds up to Milspec.
     
  12. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

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    I just cant see that the case difference matters that much, if it did then when loading a hotter load, such as Ramshots data uses for NATO spec rifles, and also using military brass on top of the hotter load you would be going easily over pressure. I'm not saying the case difference doesn't change anything but I agree with those who say it is a small difference.
     
  13. billt

    billt New Member

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    The differences are large enough to be measured, but small enough not to cause a problem. I have never seen or heard of an overload condition based on nothing more than case differences between 5.56 MM and .223 brass.
     
  14. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

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    I just got an email back from Sierra, I asked what the pressures were they were using for the 223 AR and 223 Bolt action, they confirmed that the max loads are based on 53000-54000lbs, the max allowable for 223 commercial rounds, and the max loads they are recommending in the AR section are reduced below the 223 max, so apparently Sierra doesn't feel the AR platform is capable of firing the 62000 psi NATO rounds, kind of disappointing a company like Sierra being a big name in ammunition and reloading doesn't use the proper information in their load data.
     
  15. billt

    billt New Member

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    I think you will find that to be the case in most modern loading manuals. Legality is the reason why. In most all of the loading data I compare from my modern manuals, I've found it to be loaded to a lower pressure than in data taken from my older manuals published in the early 70's. Lawyers didn't circle like Vultures back then.
     
  16. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Using identical components, the difference between commercial (federal) cases that I loaded, and the same load using LC military cases was around 50-60 FPS on my chronograph. (Oehler model 30) All fired in a Colt Military chamber.

    Certainly not enough to blow up a gun, but enough to lose a match.
     
  17. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

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    Ya I know, damn lawyers, I haven't checked Hornadys book yet. So far Ramshot is the only one I have seen with the data but thats only for their brand of powder. I don't see how listing the hotter loads would make them liable for anything as long as they disclose the high pressure and have a disclaimer in there on every page stating "to be used in NATO rated rifles only" :mad:
     
  18. billt

    billt New Member

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    The readings I managed to get out of my 527 LUX, was not enough difference between cases with identical loads to put the blame on the brass. I even had .223 Federal cases run 30 to 40 FPS higher than that companies M-193 5.56 MM brass. Considering we're talking about a 3,100 FPS cartridge, that isn't enough shot to shot deviation to worry about. At least not enough to where if I miss, I'm going to be blaming my ammunition. :D
     
  19. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, ya gotta blame something, Bill. Surely, I can't blame myself!:D:p:D
     
  20. billt

    billt New Member

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    Handloading is like fishing, you got to have the proper excuse. :D